n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - A review of polymeric biomaterials research for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications at the Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research, Mauritius

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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The purpose of this review article is to showcase research in the area of polymeric nanobiomaterials and nanocarriers for drug delivery, especially on the economically fast-growing African continent where research in the field of advanced polymers and nanomedicine can play an important role in addressing crucial health issues. In biomaterials research, we have developed a new family of poly(ester-ether)s and shown that poly(methyl dioxanone) (PMeDX) can efficiently assist in fine-tuning mechanical and biological properties of scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. Interestingly, degradation of scaffold films was proceeded by bulk erosion, whereas that of fibres took place by a surface erosion mechanism. In vitro cell culture studies conducted using human dermal fibroblasts showed that the electrospun polydioxanone/poly(methyl dioxanone) (PDX/PMeDX) nanofibrous scaffolds supported better cell attachment and proliferation compared to electrospun PDX. Our main focus has been on the engineering of various self-assembled nanomicelles based on a biodegradable poly(dioxanone-co-methyl dioxanone) core and hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) or poly(vinyl pyrolidone) or polylysine or oligoagarose shell. High drug encapsulation efficiency and prolonged drug release have been demonstrated. Adjustment of the dioxanone to methyl dioxanone ratio gives a range of copolymers whose physicochemical and biological properties can be tuned to meet specific drug delivery requirements. The efficacy of these copolymers to encapsulate and release anti-inflammatory, anti-tuberculosis drugs and anti-cancer drugs has been tested and are quite promising.

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